Introducing Niall

Niall quote - Image

Why do you celebrate Pride and what makes it important for you to celebrate it?  Head of Compliance, my role is to ensure that Fourthline is playing by the rules and adhering to the laws and regulations that govern a financial institution. But I am a criminal; in 64 UN countries where it is still illegal to be gay, and in 11 of them, I could be subject to the death penalty. So, while pride is a celebration of individualism and human dignity, it is also a stark reminder of the persecution of people just like me around the world- people who deserve to live their lives free from persecution and fear. 

How would you describe your experience as a queer person in the workplace?  When starting my professional journey, one of the things which played on my mind was should I be open about being gay with my co-workers. One argument for not being open was that it doesn't matter who I fancy has no impact on the functioning of the company. However the other side of the coin is that while being gay does not define me totally, it is a part of me which should be visible in order to excel in the work place. In being open with colleagues in all the companies I have worked for it has allowed me to be a better professional. That being said, for many others it is more difficult to be their authentic self due to internal culture not being tolerant. I am aware of the privileges I have had in relation to my sexuality and aim to make it better for future generations in supporting an open and tolerant culture.  

Would you be comfortable sharing any learnings from your journey as a queer person that might inspire your co-workers?  This is not only applicable to anyone queer, but it is for everyone. The world is always a better place when you treat people with respect and dignity. There is a lot to be said about the benefits of a diverse workplace far more that the question allows, but the most important thing to ensure that this works is giving respect to fellow colleagues regardless of their sexuality, gender or where they came from.  

How do you look back on participating in this initiative and what do you hope it brings/enables? As Oscar Wilde said, You can never be overdressed or overeducated. Society and individuals can only grow when they have learned about the differences within society. We are conditioned as children into believing that being different is a negative thing and that it is safer to not stand out from the crowd. But in understanding and learning from others I think we can only really be our true authentic selves and with this be truly happy. Not being part of the crowd is a good thing, living your own life is vital. So from my side, if one person has read anything I have written and it has made them truly think about something either about themselves or how they treat others, I will be happy.